Search-and-rescue dogs train for FEMA disasters

Posted at 8:13 PM, Mar 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 08:36:04-05

They're man's best friend, and oftentimes the ones we call on when we need help. 

Dogs and their trainers from all around the country traveled to the Valley for a FEMA disaster preparedness exam.

The search-and-rescue canines were put to a test along with their handlers on a variety of courses that mimicked disaster zones. Their mission was to sniff out people stuck underneath the rubble. 

And these tests aren't easy. One false alert by the canine and they fail the test.

The trainers said that despite all the technology available to man in each situation, nothing compares to the skills of a dog. 

"That dog and their nose and their ability to hunt is the fastest, most effective way to find people that are still living, buried inside collapsed structures," San Francisco Fire Department Lieutenant Garreth Miller said. 

The San Francisco Fire Department sent three canines and their handlers to Phoenix for the test.  

Those who passed Sunday's exam are the ones that are sent out to help in major earthquakes and other disasters, like September 11th and Hurricane Katrina.